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Brainerd: Which streets should the city improve? Public asked to weigh in

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Road work is seemingly everywhere this summer, meaning a lot of traffic is now on Highway 210 as College Road and Excelsior - which serve as major east/west routes through Baxter, are closed for construction. Excelsior Road, including the Edgewood Drive intersection will remain closed through Aug. 15. The primary access to the area will be through the Highway 371 and Design Drive intersection. Illustration

Though the 2019 road construction season is not yet complete, the city of Brainerd is already planning for future projects up to five years down the road, and seeking public feedback.

City Engineer Paul Sandy presented city council members with the five-year street and sewer capital improvement plan Monday, Aug. 19, highlighting the next planned road projects.

“The importance of this document can’t be understated,” Sandy said. “It serves as our roadmap for the future, provides schedules, timing, details, includes project-specific estimates.”

The plan also prioritizes projects based on staff findings, maintenance worker input and resident feedback. It also estimates project costs and identifies potential funding sources.

“Improvement needs can change. Obviously, there’s financial complications that can come up that cause changes in priorities,” Sandy said. “... This year, we have seen quite an increase in project costs. This kind of steered us in a direction … of how we look at these projects and what data we’re using to estimate these project costs.”

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The city maintains about 83 miles of roads and 76 miles of sanitary systems, and aims to redo about 2 miles of streets a year. Along with roads, plans for each of the next five years includes sanitary sewer replacement or rehab on areas yet to be determined. Sandy said maintenance workers are using a sewer camera to identify which areas need work.

2020 projects -- northeast Brainerd

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A map, courtesy of the city of Brainerd, shows the proposed city road construction projects for 2020.

Project costs for 2020 are estimated at $3.85 million for 1.87 miles of street resurfacing or reconstruction and the following projects in northeast Brainerd:

  • Resurfacing of J, L, O and P streets and Northeast 10th and 11th avenues.

  • Reconstruction of B, C and D streets and Fifth Avenue Northeast.

  • Cuyuna Lakes State Trail extension and connection.

Also planned for 2020 are improvements to Northwest Fourth Street in west Brainerd.

2021 projects -- south Brainerd

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A map, courtesy of the city of Brainerd, shows the proposed city road construction projects for 202

Project costs for 2021 are estimated at $3.1 million and include 2.63 miles of street resurfacing or reconstruction and the following projects:

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  • Resurfacing of Paul Circle and Willow, South Eighth, Paul and Todd streets.

  • Resurfacing and realignment of Wright Street.

  • Reconstruction and resurfacing of Madison, South Seventh and South 10th streets.

2022 projects -- north Brainerd

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A map, courtesy of the city of Brainerd, shows the proposed city road construction projects for 2022.

Project costs for 2022 are estimated at $2.62 million and include 1.72 miles of street resurfacing or reconstruction and the following projects:

  • Reconstruction of North Third, North Sixth, North Seventh and Juniper streets.

  • Resurfacing of Beech Street.

2023 projects -- southeast Brainerd

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A map, courtesy of the city of Brainerd, shows the proposed city road construction projects for 2023.

Project costs for 2023 are estimated at $1.89 million and include 1.65 miles of street resurfacing on Quince, Oakridge, Walnut, St. Louis, Pine, Southeast 15th and Southeast 16th streets.

2024 projects -- south Brainerd

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A map, courtesy of the city of Brainerd, shows the proposed city road construction projects for 2024.

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Project costs for 2024 are estimated at $2.4 million and include 2.94 miles of street resurfacing or reconstruction and the following projects:

  • Resurfacing of Norway Court, Hillcrest Drive, Belle Rae Circle, Carol Lane, Woodcrest Road, Pineview Drive, Hawkins Drive, Linden Lane, Crestview Lane and Spruce Drive.

  • Mill and overlay on Graydon Avenue.

Funding

The majority of money for most resurfacing and reconstruction projects come from the city’s construction funds, with special assessments paying a portion as well. State aid funds will be available for Fifth Avenue Northeast and B, Wright, Willow and Beech streets, with special assessments still picking up a portion of the cost, too.Money for the sewer projects will come from the city’s sanitary sewer and stormwater utility funds.

Feedback

The project schedule is not set in stone, and Sandy told council members they can discuss moving projects around to different years or adding other streets in if they choose.

Members of the public are also invited to give input on the plan, which is available on the city’s website at www.ci.brainerd.mn.us/509/5-Year-Capital-Improvement-Plan . Suggestions about moving certain streets up sooner or adding streets are welcome. Comments can be emailed to Sandy at engineer@ci.brainerd.mn.us or mailed to: City Engineer, 501 Laurel St., Brainerd, MN 56401.

Related Topics: TRAFFIC AND CONSTRUCTION
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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